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How Much Does Illegal Immigration Cost America?

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America has a national debt of approximately 14 trillion dollars. What can our country do to stop this spending? Statistics show that 338.3 billion dollars are spent on illegal immigrants in America annually. (3) This amount alone would be enough to stimulate the economy for the real citizens of this country. If we were to tighten border security, we would be able to cut down our debt. Therefore, to minimize national debt, America should tighten border security and thus stop spending money on welfare, Medicaid, and education for illegal immigrants.

Welfare was established by Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. (5) He designed it as a program to help single mothers with dependent children, old people who could not take care of themselves, and disabled people. Today, many people take advantage of this welfare, claiming they cannot find a job to support themselves or their families. It is estimated that states spend between 11 billion to 22 billion dollars on welfare for illegal aliens every year. Many illegal aliens do not report their earnings to the government for tax purposes and yet use a significant amount of government resources. This means hard working U.S. citizens, many of whom do not qualify for welfare, are forced to pay this burden through their tax dollars. Tightening U.S. border security would reduce the number of illegal aliens and thereby reduce the amount of welfare being spent on them.

The second reason America should strengthen border security is that our country spends a great deal of money on Medicaid for illegal aliens. Medicaid is a healthcare program that is funded by state and federal government(s) to help pay all or a large amount of medical costs for those who absolutely cannot afford it themselves. There are several factors that qualify a person for Medicaid, including age, pregnancy, income, and citizenship. People from other countries must have legally immigrated to America, and they must maintain citizenship for five years. However, this restriction is not always enforced. (5) Research reveals that 2.5 billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for people who have immigrated to the U.S. unlawfully. (4) Many states are currently in financial trouble due to budgets burdened with significant Medicaid expenditures. In defiance of federal law, California currently allows illegal immigrants to receive Medicaid benefits without proof of citizenship. In contrast, Arizona, realizing enforcement of immigration laws was paramount to its survival, included wording in its bill, SB 1070, stating in part that federal, state and local officials must inquire as to the legal status of those applying for public aid. (2)

It is estimated that 12 billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary education for illegal immigrants. In California, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous vote, upheld the state’s 2001 law allowing illegal immigrants to receive in-state college tuition rates. (1) Doing this causes California to lose revenue by not being able to charge higher out-of-state tuition rates for illegal aliens. Many states allow illegal immigrants into their public school systems because they do not check the legal status of those applying to schools. For example, the 2001 California law regarding college tuition, states, in part, “…illegal residents are required to have attended high school in the state for at least three years and to have graduated.” (6) This means money that could be used for education of legal citizens is lost. In an era when the federal, state and local governments are looking to cut their budgets, stopping the admission of illegal immigrants into our public school systems could save a significant amount of money. The best way to stop such admissions is to tighten border security.

In conclusion, America’s national debt would be lower if we did not spend billions of dollars on illegal aliens. Our country provides them with welfare, Medicaid, and public education. The sad truth is that some states do not even care they are spending money on illegal aliens. The 338.3 billion dollars the U.S. spends annually on benefits for illegal aliens is more than triple the cost of the Iraq War, which is an estimated 100 billion dollars every year. If we strengthened border security, then illegal immigration would be significantly reduced. The money we save by reducing illegal immigration could be used to decrease the national debt and stimulate our economy.

Works Cited
Frayer, Lauren. “California OKs In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants.” Aol News. (30 Jan 2011)
“Senate Bill 1070.” Az Leg. (30 Jan 2011)
“Bankruptcy 101.” Catfish1.
“The High Cost of Cheap Labor: Illegal Immigration and the Federal Budget.” Center for Immigration Studies. (30 Jan 2011)
“Welfare: How Will it Fare?” Library Think Quest. (30 Jan 2011)
Gorman, Steve. “Calif. Court Upholds In-State Tuition for Illegals.” Reuters. (30 Jan 2011)

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This article has 27 comments. Post your own now!

GetUrFaxStr8 said...
Aug. 2, 2014 at 9:01 am
Regardless of the exact amount, any amount of money spent to benefit those who broke our laws to come here is too much money. Yes, there is a lot that we can do with 1 billion dollars to help our own education system and health system...and don't get me into the welfare system. I am married to a legal immigrant. He followed the laws passed by this country to get his citizenship. Why on earth would citizens support spending hard earned tax dollars on people who have no respect for our laws. Curre... (more »)
swijou bueler said...
Mar. 25, 2013 at 8:04 pm
uhmmm.... i like how everybodies hating on this guy bc he got a couple of numbers wrong on the statistics.. first of all illegal immigrants shouldnt get one penny of the american citizens tax dollars much less 9.8 BILLION DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!  and you dont even need a scientific caculator for that either.
4America said...
Nov. 1, 2012 at 10:08 am
last i checked 338.3 billion < 800 billion. Who's really draining the country?
DDestefano said...
Oct. 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm
Great article and statistics! The U.S is spending too much money on illegal immigrants and not on U.S citizens alone. 338 million dollars? we could be using that on our education and health!
JeanneBowyer said...
Aug. 2, 2012 at 2:00 am

Your statistics are taken from a right wing propoganda email erroneously quoting turn-of-the-century CIS reports. They're completely bogus stats.

Case in point, the entire Federal Budget allocation for welfare in 2009 was $533 billion. Out of that, and estimated $9.6 billion went to illegal immigrants in any way, shape or form. That's 1.4% of the welfare budget and an infinitessimally negligible amount of the total Federal budget for the year.

Let's all smarten up a little and r... (more »)

Lopezs22 replied...
Dec. 28, 2012 at 1:56 am
Who are you to decide that $9.6 billion is nothing significant. 9.6 billion is a lot of money spent on illegal immigration.
JayBowyer said...
Aug. 2, 2012 at 1:54 am
Your statistics are completely bogus. They're straight out of a right-wing email and they're completely false. The entire United States Federal Budget welfare allocation for 2009 was $533 billion and only an estimated $9.6 billion of that was spent on illegal immigrants. Those are factual figures; yours are simply lies!

Teens, question what you see. Articles like this are why we're becoming progressively more ignorant as a society. Read the Federal Budget. Learn. Open your eyes and do... (more »)
ConstanceContraireThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 5, 2012 at 4:55 pm
THEY ARE TAKING JOBS THAT NOBODY WANTS! Take Alamba for example when the Americans were given the opportunity to pick produce they didnt take it! 
ConstanceContraireThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Mar. 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm
oops i meant to say Alabama
IntrepidRoseThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 8, 2011 at 8:30 am

Whenever hard times occur, people blame a minority. Don't blame your government's debt on illegal immigrants, and don't blame your lack of jobs on them either.  Don't blame it on people taking advantage of welfare.


Consider how much it would cost to tighten security.

Think about this too. The more people living in your society, the more goods and services they consume. Illegal immigrants are actually stimulating and helping your economy, not ruining it.more »)

KeepingItReal said...
Sept. 29, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I Wrote An Essay Like This For English.

We are in a terrible economic situation so giving them jobs is making it worse. We have families hanging on their possessions by a thread, some making their kids even work to support each other. As of now America has around a 14.7 trillion dollar debt ( Of that amount, we are annually spending around 338 million dollars on welfare, Medicaid, and education for these illegal immigrants (fox news). I think we need to tighten our rul... (more »)

Serenity.Prayer13 said...
Sept. 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm
oh, and I agree! ;)
Serenity.Prayer13 said...
Sept. 13, 2011 at 10:55 pm
Nice article! Great statitics, relativity and having supporting sentence for the facts! I'm writing a ten page essay on this topic and the clear though prove significantly appreciated. Highly fair transitions. Thank you and fine job. 
PrincessGrace replied...
Sept. 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm
thank you! i hope those links still work-great sources of information.
goamerica said...
Aug. 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm
Thanks for this article.  I absolutely agree.  America is the only place where breaking the law is rewarded.  And, you are right about illegal immigrants receive benefits from the tax dollars of citizens.  While,  these same citizens don't qualify for this aid that could assist them.  And, this is a huge reason why America is broken... and broke.  
PrincessGrace replied...
Aug. 17, 2011 at 4:27 pm
thanks for reading! glad to know that someone else feels the same way :)
simplyfeel said...
Apr. 1, 2011 at 10:34 pm
You know what would be a better solution for lowering the spending amount on illegal immigrants? Making it easier to become legal. There should be an immigration office in every state where and immigrant can go. There, workers at he office while file to have their backgrounds sent over via the internet from their homeland to the immigration office. Everything to be known about the immigrant is on document. If they have a bad criminal history, kick them out. If they are clean or have a relatively... (more »)
PrincessGrace replied...
Apr. 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm
How do we know they aren't lying about their past when they send us records? And what is "relatively clean?" Only one murder? or maybe only being involved in one drug cartel? And there is an immigration office in every border state.
simplyfeel replied...
Apr. 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm
No, relatively clean would be being charged with loitering, traffic tickets, and etc. Minor stuff like that. And the immigrants themselves are not sending the records. The immigration office is requesting them from the immigrants home country. If that immigrant really didn't live there, they would figure it out. Any crime they got over there, they would know. That includes that one murder.
CoughingColours replied...
May 2, 2011 at 10:09 am

if there was a like button for your idea, simplyfeel, i would sooo press it


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